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CSUN Neighbors Protest Proposed Stadium Location

May 23, 1999|ART MARROQUIN

Mark Tuvim moved into his home on Lindley Avenue five years ago because it's in a quiet neighborhood.

He says more traffic, crowds and crime will creep into his neighborhood if a new stadium at Cal State Northridge is built.

Tuvim joined about 70 other homeowners Saturday morning in a protest of the proposed 8,500-seat venue, which opponents fear will be used for concerts rather than sports events.

"I look out my front window and see where the stadium will be," Tuvim said. "I think it's absurd to put a stadium that big into this neighborhood."

Earlier this month, university officials announced plans to build a $10-million multipurpose stadium on CSUN's North Campus, despite strong opposition from homeowner groups who don't want increased noise and traffic.

During Saturday's protest, homeowners marched up and down Lindley Avenue near the university's track field. They held signs that read "Stop the Stadium," "We've Only Begun to Fight," and "Honk If You Oppose the Stadium."

The few motorists who did drive past the protesters didn't honk their horns.

But opponents remain resolute in their fight, even though a recent CSUN survey found that 68% of the Valley's residents support an on-campus stadium.

"That survey is bogus because no one living near the stadium was included," said Judi Garnet, who has lived in the neighborhood for 12 years. "We're the ones who will be affected."

Protesters voiced some strong opinions about the stadium Saturday, but the march was rather low-key. No chants were yelled and there were no unruly protesters.

Across the street, university sports officials and athletes taking part in Saturday's daylong Big Sky Track Championships saw the protesters, but didn't pay much attention.

"I think if the university works in conjunction with the neighborhood, the stadium could be a win-win situation for everyone," said Brian Swanson, assistant athletic director for CSUN.

Homeowner Pat LoPresti said she and her neighbors are not against the school's athletic programs. It's the idea of private companies leasing the stadium for concerts and other events.

"The university won't give us any say on what goes on at that stadium, and we don't like that," LoPresti said. "They have to pay for it some way, and let's face it, CSUN sports won't cut it."

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